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A second problem is water. While the Tribe was allotted 2.744 acre feet of water per year by the United States Supreme Court in Arizona v. California, 376 U.S. 340, 344 (1964), the amount of water will not be enough to irrigate the accreted and leased lands in the future. Both of these areas are suitable for intensive agriculture, provided that adequate water is available.

The Cocopah Tribe has long been aware of the dangers of increased salinity in the lower Colorado River. The Tribe recognizes the legal and moral obligation of the United States to provide the Republic of Mexico with high quality water suitable for irrigation and other useful purposes, and does not wish to take a position that would obstruct the rapid fulfillment of that obligation. Accordingly, the Tribe supports almost all aspects of the Colorado River International Salinity Control Project proposed by the Bureau of Reclamation in its special report of September, 1973.

However, the project as proposed includes a canal to carry off the "reject stream”, the highly saline reject water which is not treated by the proposed desalinization plant. This canal for the reject stream, which may be as much as 25 feet wide and six feet deep, will bisect the Cocopah Reservation on a line roughly parallel to the Colorado River. We understand that the proposed easement for the canal will be 100 feet wide. Not only will the canal deprive the Tribe of desperately needed acreage, but it will be a formidable physical barrier, dividing the main portion of the Reservation from the accreted lands that have just recently been won in court. Furthermore, the combined operation of the desalinization plant and the waste water canal will probably mean that the main channel of the Colorado River, the principal aesthetic and recreational amenity on the Reservation, will be totally depleted for much of the year. The attractiveness of this and other proposed tourist facilities will be diminished, and probably eliminated, if the river no longer flows by the Reservation.

Our Tribe has had a long and difficult struggle to obtain our land. We fought for our accreted land for ten years before a court ruled that it had been rightfully ours all along. In the meantime, we lost a decade of development potential. In addition, our accreted land is already facing major physical barriers—a railroad levy and a floodplain levy. Now we are told that we must accept this waste canal.

The Cocopah Tribe does not believe that it should be asked to sacrifice its meager and hard earned resources for the benefit of this project, unless the Tribe receives fair compensation in return. Indeed, tribal land cannot be taken without the consent of the Tribe because the Tribe is organized pursuant to the Indian Reorganization Act. See, 25 U.S.C. $ 476. The United States government should not attempt to meet its treaty obligations to Mexico by ignoring its trusteeship obligations to the Cocopah Tribe. Accordingly, the Tribe proposes, as compensation for the sacrifices it will be asked to make for the project, that the following action be taken.

Because of its minimal land base, the Tribe is desperately attempting to obtain additional tribal lands. Although the Tribe is seeking to obtain three parcels in the area of the Reservation, this presentation will deal with only one strip of land. The strip of land in question is directly adjacent to the southern boundary of the Reservation. The present Reservation boundaries are outlined in red on the attached Exhibit A. The parcel involved here is cross-hatched in blue on Exhibit A.

The Tribe proposes that this legislation provide that the indicated parcel be transferred to the Tribe.

The parcel, consisting of approximately 360 acres, is withdrawn reclamation land which is being managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The parcel is brushy accretion land which is composed primarily of alluvium soil. Although a small part of the parcel is presently being farmed, most of the land is presently unused. This land is particularly suitable for inclusion in the Reservation because it is very similar to the Tribal land directly to the north. The parcels should logically be used as a unit, whether for purposes of agriculture or development.

The Tribe believes that it will have the vigorous support of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in regard to the transfer in question. Both the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Reclamation support the Tribe's efforts to obtain other parcels near the Reservation; because those other parcels are similar to the parcel in question here, we believe that the Bureau of Reclamation and the Bureau of Land Management would both be willing to support this proposal.

The transfer of the parcel would fulfill a major dream of the Cocopah Tribe. Accordingly, we request that H.R. 12165 be amended to add to section 102(e) as follows:

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(e), The Secretary is authorized and directed to cede the following land to the Cocopah Tribe of Indians, to be held in trust by the United States for the Cocopah Tribe of Indians:

Township 9 South, Range 25 West of the Gila and Salt River Meridian,

Section 25: Lots 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23;
Section 26: Lots 1, 12, 13, 14, and 15;

Section 27: Lot 3; and all accretion to the above described lands.
The Secretary is authorized and directed to construct three bridges, capable of acommo-
dating heavy vehicular traffic, over the portion of the reject stream which crosses the
Reservation of the Cocopah Tribe of Indians. Such bridges shall be designed and
constructed on an H-20 loading capacity.

The transfer of the requested parcel is definitely the first priority of the Tribe. As a second, much less desirable alternative, the following section 102(e) could be added to the bill:

“(e). The Secretary is authorized and directed to route the reject stream so that no part of the reject stream crosses the Reservation of the Cocopah Tribe of Indians. In the alternative, the Secretary is authorized and directed to construct a heavy-duty, concrete-lined pipe for the reject stream so that all portions of the reject stream will be buried underground at all points at which the reject stream crosses any part of the Reservation of the Cocopah Tribe of Indians. Such pipe shall be no less than class five pipe with a minimum cover of one foot. The Secretary is authorized and directed to compensate the Cocopah Tribe of Indians in full for any damages which the Tribe may incur as a result of the construction, maintenance, or repair of such underground pipe.

We believe that these proposals are modest, reasonable, and fair. The first alternative, which is most urgently requested by the Tribe, will probably be supported by all of the interested agencies. If the United States is prepared to spend as much as 133 million dollars on these desalinization facilities largely for the benefit of a foreign country, it should be more than willing to absorb the comparatively minor expense outlined above for its First Citizens.

This matter is of utmost importance to the Cocopah Tribe. We understand that the Subcommittee will be taking action on this bill within the next several days. If members or staff of the Subcommittee wish, the Tribe is willing to send their delegates to Washington at any time. As we have already explained to the Subcommittee, this presentation could not have been made at an earlier time because the Tribe and its attorneys were not aware of the Subcommittee hearings uutil the evening before the final day of hearings.

The Tribe wishes to express its appreciation to Congressman Johnson and the members of the Subcommittee Staff for the courtesies they have extended to the Tribe,


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City of Los Angeles, March 1, 1974. Hon. JAMES A. HALEY, Chairman, House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Sir: The Department of Water and Power of the City of Los Angeles (Department) is very concerned with the increasing salinity of the Colorado River. We have supported and will support measures to control this increase. We have reviewed with great interest H.R. 12165, the proposed Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act, developed by both Upper Basin and owe Basin interests and introduced by Representative Harold T. Johnson on January 21, 1974, and we support the objectives of this measure. We also concur with the testimony which will be given by the Committee of Fourteen regarding the bill before your committee.

H.R. 12165 would authorize a desalting plant and other features to improve the quality of water flowing to Mexico. We have followed closely the negotiations leading to the signing of Minute 242 of the International Boundary and Water Commission and reviewed the various proposals to implement this Minute.

The Department's position is that any legislation to improve the quality of Colorado River water delivered to Mexico should include steps to benefit all users of these waters, in the United States as well as in Mexico. H.R. 12165 would authorize Upper and Lower Colorado River Basin salinity control projects with the objective of maintaining the salinity of the Lower Colorado River at or below present_salinity levels. This objective has been endorsed by all the Colorado River Basin states, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior.

Although Minute 242 specifies that water delivered to Mexico will have an average salinity not more than 115 parts per million (ppm) over the average salinity at Imperial Dam, it does not guarantee that the quality of water delivered to Mexico will never exceed an absolute limit. The intent of the Minute, of course, is to furnish acceptable quality water to Mexico. It can be expected that Mexico would reopen the recent controversy with the United States if its water quality degraded substantially, even though the 115 ppm criterion was being met. The best way to keep a problem of this sort from developing is to control the salinity of water at Imperial Dam in addition to operation of the desalting plant.

The salinity control projects proposed by Title II of H.R. 12165 would not only comply with the intent of Minute 242 but would also benefit users of Colorado River water in the United States.

We urge that H.R. 12165 be amended to incorporate the suggestions of the Committee of Fourteen, and that this bill receive favorable consideraticn. Sincerely,

ROBERT V. PHILLIPS, General Manager and Chief Engineer.


COLORADO RIVER SALINITY CONTROL LEGISLATION H.R. 12165 The Board of Directors of the California Water Resources Association on February 8, 1974, unanimously went on record endorsing in principle HR-12165 for the following reasons:

(1) The Colorado River is a major source of water supply for municipal, industrial and agricultural uses in Southern California, as well as substantial parts of six other states within the Colorado River Basin.

Due to both natural and man-made causes, the Colorado River carries large loads of dissolved salts and minerals which, studies show, unless controlled, will steadily increase, placing heavy economic penalties on water users and degrading the environment.

(2) The United States Government has executed an agreement with the Government of Mexico which obligates the United States to take steps to improve the quality of Colorado River water which enters Mexico. Furthermore, the seven basin states have agreed upon a program designed to improve the quality of the Colorado River.

(3) HR-12165 takes into account all of these factors and provides a long-range program designed to help control the level of dissolved solids in the waters of the Colorado River.

Therefore, the California Water Resources Association urges implementation and funding of the programs provided under HR-12165.

Adopted Board of Directors, February 8, 1974.


Los Angeles, Calif., March 12, 1974. Hon. HAROLD T. JOHNSON, Chairman, House Subcommittee on Water and Power Resources, Longworth House

Office Building, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. JOHNSON: The Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce urges the House Subcommittee of Water and Power Resource, Committee of Interior and Insular Affairs, to approve current bill, H.R. 12165, supporting the Colorado River Salinity Control Program.

The Colorado River constitutes the source of 40 per cent of the water used on the coastal piain of Southern California. In addition, the river is the sole source of water used by the vast agricultural enterprises in the Imperial, Coachella and Palos Verde desert areas.

The basin of the Colorado River, as you well know, contains many natural sources of salts in springs and geysers. Moreover, runoff from rain and snowmelt naturally picks up dissolved salts.

In countless other ways this great river picks up salts as it moves along. It is expected, moreover, that continued development in the basin will aggravate the problem of salinity in the lower river as time goes on.

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is vitally concerned with sound fiscal responsible legislation that would support the Colorado River Salinity Control Program.

Beyond certain limits, saline water causes economic problems to municipal and agricultural users. Under certain conditions, saline water can shorten the life of pipeline systems, home piping, water heaters and fixtures. On farms, more water must be applied to flush salts below the root zone and extensive drainage works must be built to prevent salt buildup in the soil. If irrigation water becomes too salty, it cannot be used.

In certain parts of the Colorado River system, salinity has increased from 700 parts per million in the early 1950's to 865 parts per million in 1972. Several governmental agencies have attached penalty costs to increased salinity. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation estimates such costs to be $160,000 per part per million per year.

A reduction of 100 parts per million in salinity could result in a benefit of up to $16 million annually to users in the lower river.

A Colorado River Salinity Control Program is economical common sense. High salinity costs money. As with other forms of pollution, we pay the penalty not only in terms of a less desirable water, but also in hard dollars taken from the pockets of homeowners, businessmen and farmers. If salinity control measures are not taken the annual damages in California alone could exceed $400 million by the

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, by copy of this letter, will advise the entire Southern California delegation of its interest and support of the Colorado River Salinity Control Program. Sincerely yours,


year 2000.



The Colorado River Water Conservation District in addition to submitting a statement jointly with the Southwestern Water Conservation District that speaks to the overall value of legislation like H.R. 12165, also wishes to comment specifically on the property rights and operations of water users' associations and irrigation companies in the Grand Valley area which will be directly affected by Section 202 of H.R. 12165. These groups are: The Grand Valley Irrigation Company, the Fruita Canal and Land Company, the Grand Valley Water Users Association, the Orchard Mesa Irrigation District, the Mesa County Irrigation District, the Palisade Irrigation District and the Redlands Water and Power Company. Taken as a whole, these organizations serve an irrigable area of approximately 100,000 acres, of which about 65,000 acres are presently devoted to commercial agriculture. In addition to supplying the water for these lands, the companies supply irrigation water for lawns, gardens and shrubs for about 18,000 people in the valley beyond the reach of city water mains. The annual growing season is between 180 and 200 days (the longest in the State of Colorado), permitting the production of a wide variety of grain and forage crops as well as fruits, vegetables and sugar beets. Per acre crop yields rank among the highest in the State, with the 1973 gross crop value in the Grand Valley in 1973 of approximately $19 million. Studies by Colorado State University* and others have shown that each dollar value of increased crop production generates $7 and $8 in new business activity in local, state and national levels. The efforts of the typical Grand Valley irrigation farmer create crop values of about $300 per acre in a good year, resulting in approximately $2400 per year of increased business activity on his efforts. His profit is about $30 per acre. In addition he provides free of charge the “Green Belts” so highly prized by urban communities.

It is the primary duty of the water organizations to provide the best water service possible at the least possible cost to the water users. These water organizations in the Grand Valley have met this challenge well and responsibility for many years. For an annual cost to the water user that ranges between $5 and $14

*Impact of Agricultural Change on a Local Economy in the Great Plains, Technical Bulletin, 106, Colorado State University Experiment Station, October 1969.

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